LarkFest music lineup

larkfest 2010 logoThe LarkFest organizers announced the music lineup for this year's festival.

In contrast to recent years when the lineup featured one or two bigger names, this year's slate features a range of somewhat lesser-known acts from different genres -- indie rock to neo-soul to Midwesterners who "sound like a drunkenly angry Tom Petty crawling out of a Florida swamp."

Some of them sound pretty good. The full lineup and the local acts -- selected in a contest from over 80 entries -- after the jump.

This is the order from the press release, but we imagine the order will probably be shuffled as a schedule is worked out. This year's slate was organized by WEXT

1. Sirsy
Popular locals. They signed a record deal with Funzalo Records earlier this year.

2. KaiserCartel
Indie duo from Brooklyn. Calm. You might recognize the song "Okay."

3. Brendan James
Singer/songwriter now in LA. Kind of reminds us of a really earnest version of Jason Mraz.

4. Harper Blynn
Their Twitter bio: "We're a New York City rock band that has a lot of harmonies and man-singing. We live in Brooklyn, but we rarely drink PBR."

5. Jim Keller
The guy who wrote "867-5309/Jenny". He's apparently now playing "upbeat, rootsy folk."

6. Chris Barron & the Time Bandits
The Spin Doctors guy.

7. Backyard Tire Fire
From Paste: "Brandishing a raucous live show and inventive studio albums, these Midwesterners sound like a drunkenly angry Tom Petty crawling out of a Florida swamp."

8. Eli "Paperboy" Reed
Neo-soul from the Boston area. We like it.

Also: the Albany Barn set up a juried contest with over 80 local band submissions (AOA Mary was one of the judges). The panel listened to the submissions blind -- no names. From the pool of 80 artists, four were chosen:

The Ill Funk Ensemble
Hip-hop and soul. Do they cover "Bust a Move"? Yes. Yes, they do.

Reggae, dub and punk.

Rich Ortiz
Singer/songwriter from Lake George.

Tom McWatters
Acoustic rock.

LarkFest is September 25.


LarkFest aka intentional avoidance of big name acts to keep the meathead assholes from ruining the neighborhood.

Never heard of any of these guys but Sirsy, and not impressed with them. 95% of "local bands" are "local" for good reason...they're not very good.

Ike, you're checking out the wrong local shows. We've got some of the best bands right in our backyard!

my biggest issue with this lineup is not that 95% of local bands aren't very good, as you put it, but that most of these acts are not local. maybe if LarkFest was a little more proactive in finding the gems of the Albany music scene rather than relying on a "juried contest" (aka battle of the bands), people like yourself would be aware of the great music happening in your home city.

ike, you should definitely ask for your money back.

Aieee. Conflicted. On one hand, anything that makes me feel better about avoiding LarkFest like the plague is welcome, and this lineup certainly does that. On the other, I want LF to be awesome. In my dreams, it would pretty much be last year's second stage with additional local bands and one or two "national" acts.

Can you still call it LarkFest when two of the bands are from Brooklyn and one is...*sigh*...Sirsy?


Kaiser Cartel is excellent.

Eli Paperboy Reed puts on a fun show.

As does Backyard Tire Fire.

It's a "different" approach indeed, but I look forward to seeing how it plays out in context with LarkFest.

Gotta admit... these bands are all pretty bad. Why not get one of the MANY awesome local bands to play instead?

What exactly was the problem last year? All we see is vague comments like "the size and composition of the crowd".

sirsy. ugh. I'm longing for eddie money @ this point.

We *have* a Larkfest that's fun and full of great local talent and not swarmed by louts... it's called "Art on Lark".

Do they cover 'Bust A Move'?
That's the problem.


The problem with last year's LarkFest? In a nutshell - tons of drunk idiots peeing, pooping, littering, puking and screwing on and under the stoops of Center Square residents. As someone who has been living a block off of Lark Street for several years, I have come to expect a certain degree of insanity/mess during LarkFest weekend - it comes with the territory. However, last year's crowd was over-the-top disrespectful of the families who live in the neighborhood and their properties. It was really, really gross.

@ Center Square Resident

a little poo never hurt. beats getting mugged, doesn't it?

Steven - care to name names of some of the MANY awesome local bands you have in mind????

LarkFest 2010 = Lame.

Wolff's Oktoberfest 2010 = Awesome.

@Local Musician

Duchess & The Afrodub Rebels, of course. :)

There's a reason most local bands in this area go nowhere, and it's because of people like Ike. Live music is supported and loved in most areas; around here, if you aren't playing covers, you barely get work.

Out of the 5 local acts, I've seen 3 of them- Rich Ortiz, Skadee and The Ill Funk Ensemble- all of them are great and deserving. But... people like Ike would rather hear brick house or gloomy emo.

The hate in this area is staggering and sad- perhaps if you morons stopped whining and started listening, someone might care about your opinions.

For you, "Local Musician:"
Brian Patenuede, Keith Prey, Jocamo, Solid Smoke, Super 400, Mike Campese, Nautilus, Mirk. I could name many more that can stand up and get respect in any town in the U.S... except Albany... and it's because haters like you breed here like flies. Would all you neg-flies please find a poop pile in some other town to regurgitate on? Larkfest will be just fine without you... really.

ill funk will win people over...saw them open for naughty by nature and up in saratoga a few times. Massively great band with a lineup of pros that stack up to anyone in the area... too bad theyll be playing so early though but I'll get to see rich ortiz right after so thats cool.

And give bands a chance you dummies.

Mirk is playing Elda's that night.

I think one of the problems with local music in this area (and the reason that some of the great bands that are mentioned aren't on the bill for Lark Fest) is that the local bands/musicians/etc are incredibly disjointed. There are a lot of people/radio-stations/websites/venues/etc promoting local music, but they are only promoting the local bands/etc that they can easily find and that are finding them -- even though, there are many bands/etc that they are missing. Then, they run out of stuff to play/promote/etc.

As an example: 97.7 WEXT is playing a lot of great local music -- but they are definitely missing a lot of bands and they are definitely not promoting enough local live shows. AllOverAlbany is promoting a lot of great local live shows and doing other articles and things about local bands, but they are definitely missing a lot of local bands that they should be promoting. The Times Union and the blogs,, and Crumbs Nite Out, the Gazette, Metroland -- all promote local music, but they are each only skimming the surface.

A lot of people don't like Sirsy... well, you know what, they are freaking everywhere. Why? I don't really know. Why aren't the other bands that some of you mentioned everywhere?

Maybe that's part of why they aren't getting major gigs like LarkFest. They haven't put themselves out in enough places. Or maybe their fans haven't mentioned them to enough of these places.

First of all: WEXT does a great job at promoting local music. They play a huge variety of music and to have a policy like '1 local band an hour' (and often it ends up being more than one) is a great standard for any radio station to have. The fact is, there's way more bands and way more shows in our regioin than any one station could promote.

As for Larkfest, from what I have gathered the person in charge of the BID last year spent way more money than they had for the entertainment. Now he no longer holds that position and there's virtually zero budget for this year. Personally, I feel like that is a prime opportunity to get a ton of local bands who need the exposure to come step in and play for not much cash... but I suppose other people had a different idea.

why did larkfest part ways with EQX? they always booked at least one or two top notch bands. last years lineup (even though moby is terrible) was pretty stellar. this lineup is ridiculously bad. sirsy is godawful. sorry i know they're local and everything, but they make my ears bleed.

Thanks, Ben and Jack, for sticking up for us - we're hoping to win more people over at Larkfest too!

Chris, don't worry - we're only playing one set, and I don't think "Bust a Move" will be in there. We've got plenty of other songs. If you show up, you might like them.

And Ike, I hope you're also in a local band, and that your potential audience gives you more of a chance than you've given us. We may be from this area, but we've held our own in NYC and Cape Cod. We're not automatically bad just because we might eat at the same restaurants as you.

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